VGMusic.com Frequently Asked Questions -- General Site Questions




: How can I get my own domain name for my site, like your VGMusic.com?

With the deregulation of the domain name registration service, it's become quite a bit cheaper and easier to get a name you want. There are a number of places that offer varying services for varying costs, some even doing it for free (Well, if an ad banner requirement is truly free...). There are far too many to list here, however, but a search for "Domain Name Registration" should return what you're looking for.

Of course, a domain name does not mean instant website. Far from it. A domain registration is like an entry in the phone book. It allows people to find you easily, but it is not you. You can get a phone book entry that says you're a 24 hour dog groomer, but if you're not a 24 hour dog groomer, that entry is entirely worthless. You still have to make the site and have somewhere to host it. And that is something we can't help you with.

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: Can I use your files on my website or in a game I'm making?

We ourselves don't have a problem with it. Then again, we don't actually have any kind of true claim to the files themselves. We're just providing the archive services, the files (For the most part) were not made by us and are not ours. So, if you want to use one of the files you find here, you'd better ask the person who made the file. (Securing the permission of the sequencer is VERY important.) That should cover you against complaints if you use it on a web page or in a freeware game, as the only person that would care would be the original sequencer. Using this music in a game you wish to sell is an entirely different matter. Not only should you clear it with the sequencer, but you'll also want to get permission from the song's copyright holder. It's up to you to find out who all these people are, however.

One note if you want to use these songs on your web page: You have to download them and reupload them onto your own server. We do not allow direct links to files because it causes a strain on the server. (People who link files are one small step above people who claim that they are the ones that made the songs if they didn't in the bottom of the Internet's Scum Bucket.) It is also common courtesy to list the name of the person who sequenced the song (made the file). (People who claim that they are the ones that made the songs if they didn't are one small step above Spammers in the bottom of the Internet's Scum Bucket)

Also, please don't take all our files and make a VGMusic.com clone. It's pointless. We're already here and doing a good job of being VGMusic.com. If all you are is our doppelganger, no one is going to visit you.

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: Can I add a link to your page?

Sure. We love links to our website! But please do not link directly to files (It causes a strain on our server (See Above)). For buttons and pictures, check our Add-a-Link page. If your site primarily deals with content that is questionable to minors, though (gambling, pornography, etc.), we would really prefer that you didn't.

On the same token, we would love to link to you, but we're generally not going to unless your site has something to do with video games or their music.

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: Where/How did we get all our MIDIs?

The first few MIDIs were gathered up by the website's founder, Michael Newman, off of different sites. Nowadays, this site is so popular that people just send us their newest sequences, and some even sequence specifically for us. For information on making MIDIs yourself, check the Sequencing FAQ.

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: What program do you use to get all these MIDIs out of the games?

---OR---

I have a ROM for (game). How do you rip the MIDI music from it?

Simple, we didn't, and you don't. There is no simple way to take the music from a ROM and turn it into a MIDI file. There are a number of converters and tools that will aid the process, but they don't turn out wonderful results (Discussed in the question "Can I use a converter or an emulator to make a MIDI, then upload it to your site?" in the Misc. FAQ). Most of our files were made from scratch by someone entering the notes into a sequencing program on their computer, either by a MIDI keyboard or note-by-note with a mouse. For the most part, only PC games actually use MIDI files for their music (Well, older ones, anyhow...), but we will not accept directly ripped music from PC games.

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: How do you make your page so popular?

  • Submit your page to search engines. The more you submit your site to, the better. Eventually, if you're lucky, it will just spread by word of mouth.
  • When you are starting off, it doesn't hurt to put one generic message in each newsgroup related to your site. For instance, tell people when you've made a major update. DON'T SPAM, though. Make sure that the newsgroups you're posting to are related to your site. If your site is about video games, don't post a message in soc.culture.basque about it. Conversely, don't post in alt.games.final-fantasy if your site is about Basque culture.
  • Learn to use META tags so the search engines can give your page good descriptions.
  • ***Your page must be unique*** Having another unofficial SquareEnix page is a dumb idea. It's also a good idea to have information or things that no one else has. For instance, we get some new video game MIDIs before anyone else.
  • Update regularly. Even if it's an update telling people why you haven't updated, it'll let people know you're alive and the site isn't dead.
  • Your content must be interesting. Most people probably don't care about your personal life, so having a page that tells about you and your friends isn't going to interest anybody but you and your friends. If you have a hobby or interest, talk about that.

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    : Can you give a brief description of your website?

    MIDI music from your favorite videogames from before the reign of the NES through to the Battle of the NextGens!

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    : Can you get (game's) music on your page?

    We don't make MIDIs, we just collect them. We rely on people out on the Internet making these files and sending them to us. We do, however, provide a place for you to ask some of these people to make songs for you, the Wishlist Forums. Post your request there, and you may be lucky enough to have the genie grant your wish. (We make no guarantees that your wish will be answered, and please don't direct your anger at us if it isn't, as I said, we don't make the MIDIs, other people do, and we have no control over those other people. The genie is a bit touchy and may exact her revenge upon anyone that angers her.)

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    : How can I download a file off the website onto my hard drive?

    To save a file from the website to your hard drive: Right click (click once using the right button on your mouse) on the file link and then choose "File Save As...", "Save Target As...", or an equivalent choice, then follow the browser's instructions or prompting. If that does not work, try holding down the shift key while clicking the file link once.

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    : How do I contribute a file to this site?

    Use the Upload script. DO NOT E-MAIL US FILES.

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    : How do I use the upload script?

    First, check the site. Make sure we don't already have the file. Be sure to look in the New-files directory to make sure that someone else hasn't already uploaded it. If it has been uploaded or is already added to the site, WE DON'T NEED IT AGAIN. Secondly, make sure that it is music from a video game and that you know where it comes from. Thirdly, if you're not the sequencer, get the sequencer's permission before uploading. We have had a number of complaints from irate sequencers who have had their music uploaded without their permission. And finally, read the rules on the script page. They are there for a reason. Many of the more important rules have already been mentioned in this paragraph, but the others need to be followed as well. Failure to do so may result in you being restricted from using the upload script.

    Okay, now on to actually using the script.

  • The first box, and the most important, is the filename of the song you are going to upload. Hitting the "Browse..." button will open a standard file open window. Choose the file, then hit the "Open" button. This will put the filename in the box.
  • Following this is the file type. We believe fully in the freedom of choice here, that's why you're given a single option and no ability to change it. You can upload any file type you want, as long as it's a MIDI.
  • The next few boxes are pretty self-explanatory. Put your name in the one that says "Your name:" and your e-mail address in "Your E-mail Address:". In "Game Name:" put the name of the game the music is from. Please use the North American game title where possible, if the music is in the version of the game released in North America. We'll get angry at "Akamajou Dracula" or "Seiken Densetsu", and despite your otaku purism, we're going to just change the name anyway, not matter what you call it.
  • In the middle of those is the Game System selector. If a game is on multiple systems, choose the system that you sequenced it from, or that you are certain it belongs to. Don't upload multiple copies of the same song for each system. If we don't have the system, let us know about it.
  • Alongside the Game System selector is the Piano Only checkbox. If the song you're uploading is a piano arrangement (which should conform to the extra instructions below), check it. Otherwise, leave it well alone.
  • "Song Title:" is the box to put the title of the song, or where it plays in the game. So, if the song is from a particular level, put that here (Unless you know the actual title). If it is the only song that plays during a game, put Main or something equivalent. The upload agreement that you read and understood and agreed to before you got to the upload page has more information about proper naming.
  • Beneath this is the "Sequencer:" box. If you are the one that sequenced this song (In other words, you're the person who sat in front of your computer and listened to the original song over and over and over until you start hearing it in your sleep, at work/school, etc. and painstakingly entered every single note in the file by hand), then your name goes here. If you did not sequence this song or if you took a previously existing song, changed it a bit, then re-uploaded it, your name does not go here, the name of the person that sequenced it does (And remember, either of these cases requires obtaining the original sequencer's permission). Uploading a file to this site does not constitute sequencing a file by any means. If you don't know who sequenced this file, you shouldn't be uploading it.
  • The next box is "Composer". This is the box to put the name of the composer of the song. The composer is the person or persons that originally wrote the song that appeared on the actual system. You can usually get this information from the credits of the game. If you don't know who wrote it, leave it blank. DO NOT PUT YOUR NAME IN THIS BOX. (Unless, of course, you are the person that actually wrote it for the game.) Don't just assume "Koji Kondo" for Nintendo games or "Nobuo Uematsu" for Square games. Amazingly, those companies do have other composers. If you didn't get the name out of the credits, just leave this blank. Don't guess or make anything up.
  • Next is the "Other information:" window. Put production notes, greetings, miscellaneous jabber and so on here. If you have a comment to make about the song, it goes here. If you have nothing to say, leave it blank. After you're done with that, hit the send file button and you should receive confirmation shortly. Remember, though, it actually has to send the file, so be patient.

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    : What are the upload criteria for the Piano Only section?

    The same conditions concerning whether we already have it, where it's from and whether it's stolen and such, as described above, apply to Piano Only MIDIs just as they do to any file uploaded here.

    But with Piano Only files there is an additional requirement: the file should consist of two tracks, one each for right and left hands. The purpose of these files is to provide scores (when opened up in a suitable program) for people to play on their keyboards and the like, so if you put in any extra stuff, your file would be at best confusing, and at worst, utterly useless. Naturally, any file which is simply a pre-sequenced song with all the channels repatched to piano will not be accepted and should not be uploaded [either as Piano Only or a piano remix, in fact]. It is not a requirement to use different channels for each track, though. But there must be two separate tracks. If you have both hands combined into one track your file will not be accepted.

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    : Do I HAVE to use the upload script for all these files?

    Yes, you must. We are very likely to ignore a file if it is sent to us in e-mail. We get enough worthless e-mail as it is, deleting another letter is easy. Updating the site takes enough steps the way it is now, we don't need to add any steps involving our e-mail programs.

    It's actually easy to use the script if you have multiple songs from the same games. After the upload confirmation screen comes up, go back using your browser's back button and just change the one or two fields that need to be changed (that way you don't have to repeat your name, the game name, etc.)

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    : My web browser is not compatible with the upload script. What can I do?

    One option (And the best) is to download a newer browser. The upload script is known to work with Netscape 3.0 or newer and IE 4.0 or newer. Getting the newest version of the browser will also enhance your web viewing elsewhere, as it will give you all the latest features the browsers have to offer. If you can't upgrade or don't want to upgrade, another option is to get someone else with a compatible browser to submit the songs for you to the upload script. Try asking someone on one of our message boards, perhaps, to do it. However, we do not take MIDI submissions by email, due to the volume of files involved.

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    : What is the "New-Files" directory?

    The new-files directory is the place where files uploaded through the Upload script go. Files in the new-files directory have not been officially added to the archive, and will sit there until they are added or deleted (For various reasons this may happen, most likely because we already have the file or it's in violation of the upload rules). New files appear here every day, and quite often this is the first place a new video game MIDI will appear on the Internet. If you've wished for a song or are looking for one that is not in the archive, the new-files is a good place to monitor, as all new songs in the archive have to go through here first.

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    : What's the "Emergency Mailing List" for?

    If in the event the site goes down, a letter and updates will be sent out to everybody on this list informing people what happened and when the site should be back up. It is particularly useful if something happens to cause the vgmusic.com domain to be dropped and the site ends up someplace else, if you're on the list, you'll be informed about where the site is located. Of course, we're not quite sure what to do if the mailing list goes down, too... Hmm... If that did happen, visit the VGMusic IRC channel on EsperNet (which is made up of multiple servers), they'd probably put something in the VGMusic channel topic there. If all the EsperNet servers went down, then try emailing various community members (not any address ending in @vgmusic.com, though...) and/or check their websites to see if they know anything. If you don't know any, I guess you're stuck.

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    : Why did you number the anchor links in the FAQ in hex?

    I didn't. Kalrac did. Kalrac said it saves space, and went on to say that over 14GB of space would be saved if the FAQ had 4 billion or so questions. I wasn't really thinking of ever adding that many new questions, though... In practice it does save some space, but not as much as that. And I'm not a programming whiz, so I can't exactly write a program in lisp to work out how much space really is being saved, or anything... And since hexadecimal numbering does save space, I'm going to keep it that way for now. Maybe one day, when space saving doesn't matter anymore, I'll find a way of implementing the Mayan Long Count concept...

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    : Where did those figures come from? Why consider an FAQ with four billion questions?

    Um, well... Kalrac wrote a program in C to work out the full effect of the space-saving advantages of using hex over decimal. Four billion-ish, or to be more precise 4,294,967,295 is 2^32 - 1, which is the maximum value an unsigned integer can have in the 32-bit C compiler Kalrac used [the biggest number the compiler likes without instructing it otherwise, basically, I think]. The program said that the space saved would be over 7GB, so since the FAQ has each number twice, the total would be over 14GB. So there you are.

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    : What is your policy regarding LucasArts MIDI files?

    Our policy in the past was to not accept LucasArts MIDIs due to copyright concerns generated by a warning letter sent to other MIDI sites (Better safe than getting sued). However, we found that threat to be overblown, so that policy has since been changed, and we will now accept LucasArts music again.

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    : Why aren't your lazy staff sequencers making any MIDIs?

    We don't have any designated sequencers on our staff. Because of that, it is exceptionally difficult for them to be lazy, and even harder for them to be making MIDIs.

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    : I want (Insert song title here). I have requested it several times. Why don't you have it?

    I refer you to the following questions, where you will find the answer: "What are the Forums?->Wishlists", "Why aren't your lazy staff sequencers making any MIDIs?", "Where/How did we get all our MIDIs?", and most notably, "Can you get (game's) music on your page?". In other words, be patient, and if someone wants to make the song, then the song will be made for you, but if no one wants to make it, then the song will not be made for you, and we here at the site have very little ability to influence the process either way, so don't whine to us.

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    : What is a remix? What is this site's policy on them?

    A remix is any song that is intentionally altered to sound dramatically different than the original. An example of a remix would be the theme to Super Mario Bros. redone into a Death Metal/Techno song. Usually a remix involves changing notes, inserting new music in the middle (Or music from another game), or a major change in style. Music redone to take advantage of the MIDI format, such as a song from the original Final Fantasy sequenced to be played by a full orchestra, probably wouldn't be considered a remix, as long as the song itself remains intact (But rather would be considered an "Arrangement").

    We'll accept well done remixes. It is entirely up to us to decide what is a well done remix. It must be musically coherent and flow well, and it must be more than a simple changing of instruments and addition of a drum beat. The ZHQ Zelda Dance Remix is a good example of the type of file we're likely to accept (Although that particular song is one we will not accept, so please, STOP UPLOADING IT!).

    To reiterate, since people don't seem to grasp the concept, adding a drum beat, changing an instrument, and slapping a lame title (As in "TiWanaKu TapF00t Remix") on it DOES NOT MAKE A REMIX. Don't send us garbage like that. Got it? Furthermore, the word "Intentional" in the first sentence is an important one. The dramatically different sound cannot be a result of your musical incompetence. If you have to call a song a "Remix" to justify the criminal action you've taken against the melody, then your file is not welcome here. Come back when you can tell the difference between a C# and a G.

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    : How many times has this site moved, and why does it keep moving?

    To date, this site has officially moved ten times. We have had the www.vgmusic.com domain name for five of those locations. For more information, including dates, visit the Milestone Page.

    The archive keeps moving because of this simple answer: It's in the witness protection program and has to keep on its toes and move often. It's dangerous for it to stay in the same place for long.

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    : Why don't you just set it up so that the files are added directly to the archive when they're uploaded?

    To put it simply, quality control. The computer is stupid. It will accept exactly what a user inputs for the file information as What Is. To the computer, there is a difference between "Super Mario Brothers" and "Super Mario Bros." or between "Mega Man II" and "Mega Man 2". So, if files were added to the archive directly, there would be separate entries for the above, even though they're the same game. But it doesn't stop there. The above could be programmed around by having "Brothers" get checked against "Bros." and "2" against "II" to see if there's a match. It would be simple if it were just that. But it's not. It would also have to be programmed to check against spelling errors. "Brothres" would not be recognized as meaning "Brothers", so another game entry would pop up. Of course, a full spell check capability could be built in to guard against that, too. But then what about "SMB", "S.M.B.", and "SMB1". More programming. But a human can easily recognize and correct these things. It would take quite a bit longer to program the computer to do it for us than it would to do it ourselves.

    But it doesn't end with spelling errors alone. Sometimes people upload the exact same song as a file we already have in the archive. It goes up under another filename, so the file system won't notice and nothing will be overwritten, and occasionally it will even have a different file size. But it's the exact same version. For an example, if we had automatic updating there might be 17 different files on the site claiming to be the FFVII Battle Music, but there might only be 5 different versions. Humans will generally catch this, but the computer won't.

    There's also the presence of incorrect music. Several times, misguided people have sent in music that they claim to be from games that are not out yet, and will not be out for a while (And when they do come out, won't even have that particular music in them). Generally, these songs are just remixes from fan sites devoted to the game in particular that have been mistaken for the actual game music. Also, someone could upload non-video game music and BOOM!- suddenly "Nirvana" is a Nintendo game that has levels named "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and "All Apologies". And occasionally, people will make simple mistakes. They'll put their name in the game title box, or select the wrong system. These all get caught by humans, but there would be no logical way to make the computer take care of that.

    So, in short, humans make mistakes, but computers do not. They do, however, repeat any mistake that a human makes when giving them data. Only humans are able to easily correct the mistakes of humans. So, we could have automatic updating, in which case this site would become full of computer repeated human mistakes, or we can continue manually updating and checking everything, eliminating many of the mistakes and only passing on a few human repeated human mistakes.

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    : Why don't you update more often, then?

    Simple: Despite what you might think, it actually takes less time to handle several hundred files at a time, rather than a few every day. This is because of the overhead involved. Actually processing the files themselves takes the same amount of time, but setting up to process the files only has to be done once in a huge update. It might take three hours a day over a few days to do a huge update, but it might take an hour a day to do only ten or so files. A time commitment of 9 hours for three hundred files is much better than 30 hours for the same number of files. (Furthermore, uploading/downloading three hundred files at once will take a rather long amount of time, making it possible for the updater to do other things during this time. Ten files, and there isn't really enough time to go off and do something else.)

    Also, updating less often allows us more time to catch bad files before they're added to the archive

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    : Okay, so when will the next update be?

    Sometime, more than likely, in the future. More specifically, sometime in the future before the time the site falls out of existience. Of course, these times are approximate. Until then, just deal with the new-files like everyone else does.

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    : How do I use the VGMusic chat?

    If you've been in chat rooms before, especially IRC chat rooms (Because this is an IRC chat room), it is pretty easy to figure out, so you probably won't need these instructions. Anyway, here they are:
  • First step, go to the page and read it, and check out the rules.
  • When you're done, go back to the About our Chat Room page and click on the Java applet link near the top.
  • Enter your nickname in the "IRC Nick" box on the page and click Start. If you uncheck the "Join #vgmusic" you will not join the room, funnily enough, so don't.
  • Wait for the Java applet to load. You must have a Java-enabled browser for this, but all the current versions of the major broswers are, so if you're up to date and didn't turn support off, you're fine. (If your don't have a Java enabled browser, see the bottom of this question.)
  • You'll probably recieve a security warning asking if you want to install and run the signed applet distributed by "WebChat". Simply click "Grant this session" to continue loading the applet.
  • When the applet comes up, you should see various messages appearing in the Status window on the private section, and then the #vgmusic window should be listed in the public section. If it isn't showing, click on #vgmusic to display the room.
  • If the room didn't come up and the last line in the status window says "#vgmusic You need to identify to a registered nick to join that channel.", you will need to register your nickname. Enter
    /nickserv register password
    , where "password" is... your password. As well as allowing you to enter the room, this will allow you to reserve your nickname and is a good idea even if you find you don't actually need to register it to join the room. The command "/nickserv help register" will tell you more about what registering does and also what you can do as a result and such (Note that you will need to use the command "/nickserv identify password" to sign in every time you come back).
  • When the room finally comes up, on the right side there is a list of everyone currently in the room, while the area in the center is the chat room itself.
  • To send a message, simply type it in the open box at the bottom of the room applet, and hit enter. As this is IRC, commands such as /me will work.
  • To leave the room, click the crosses in the corner of the applet, or just close your browser window or hit the back button.

    This is not a complete how-to guide for using IRC. I don't know every minute little thing that can be done. This was just a simple guide to inform you about getting into the room. If you want more information about chatting, ask someone in the room, they might be able to help you. Then again, if you don't find anyone in the room, or can't even get into the room, you're out of luck.

    If you don't have a Java enabled browser (or prefer to use your own chat client), you may use a different chat program to join the room. #vgmusic is located on EsperNet, so simply use whatever IRC client you have and connect to an EsperNet server (irc.esper.net will randomly choose you an EsperNet server), and you'll be able to get into the room.

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    : I saw a file the other day in the new-files, but it has disappeared and has not been added to the archive. Where did it go?

    ---OR---

    The number of files in the new-files has dropped dramatically since the last time I looked, but no files have been added to the archive. What happened?

    If it's a single file that's missing, chances are it was deleted for various reasons. However, if it is a considerable chunk of files missing, the reason is probably this: The files are in the process of being approved and transfered for an update. Processing a large amount of files takes quite a bit of time. The files should reappear when the update is complete and they are officially added to the archive (Usually within a few days).

    Due to a change in the way the updates are handled, this should no longer happen, though, so more than likely a large chunk of missing files indicates that half the site was destroyed by an asteroid impact, taking much of the new-files with it.

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    : Where did the VGRPG go?

    The actual RPG Maker project is "officially" over, so I heard. However, it is said to live on in the form of chat-based RP somewhere on the EsperNet IRC Network, if that counts. Also, there are the VGMusic RPG things on the Role Playing & Fiction board. Whether these two groups acknowledge each other is not something I know at this moment, though.

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    : A while ago you guys had (Insert song title), now it's gone. Where is it?

    We call ourselves an "Archive". That doesn't mean we actually keep things forever. If the file you're referring to was in the new-files, then check the archive. It may have gotten added in the time since you last saw it. If it's still missing, then chances are, we've deleted it. There are a number of reasons songs may get deleted. We may discover it is not actually a song from the game it is credited to, the file may have been uploaded without the sequencer's permission and they have requested its removal. We may discover that a song is mislabeled and fix it. And there's always the possibility of an error of some kind inadvertantly causing the deletion of a file. In short, don't absolutely expect files that are here today to be here tomorrow.

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    : What are the jobs of the staff?

    Here's what everyone does, so you'll know who to write if you have a question or a problem.

    Mike Newman: He created this place. He has put many hours and many dollars into this site, raising it from a tiny little collection of just a few songs on Geocities, to a huge site with its own domain name and widespread recognition across the Internet as being the place to go for game music MIDI.

    John Harvey (Forteblast): He's the webmaster and system administrator, the one to complain to if something don't work. He also keeps the forum software updated, and has written and updated some of the website's code. He was previously an updater.

    Daniel Wright (dw_junon): That would be me. I guess my title is something like Information Coordinator or thereabouts. I look after the FAQ, Glossary, the MOMALs, and also try to look after the forums, though it's none too easy these days.

    Scott DePouw (Secret Agent Man): He writes helpful scripts and other utilities for site staff. Updating was far more time-consuming and dull before we hired him.

    Shannon Mason (Pongball): She's the Update Coordinator. It's her job to yell at the others when they don't do timely updates, as well as do the occasional update herself. If the new-files count is high, listen carefully and you'll hear her shouting. We're not sure if she'll shout at herself if her section is the one making the new-files count high.

    Dave Harris (B1itz Lunar): He's an updater. He'll take files within his alphabetical range out of the new-files and put them in the archive.

    Jordan Davenport (Hunter-Zero): He's also an updater. He'll take files within his alphabetical range out of the new-files and delete them.

    Robert Hansson (Horn): He's yet another updater. With this many updaters, you'd think there would be updates more often...

    Suds: She has two positions. First, she's an updater. I mentioned them above. But, she's also the Quality Control Coordinator. She's the one who takes care of bad links, mislabeled files, duplicates, credit fixes, etc., after they've exited the new-files. If there's a problem with a file in the archive, she's the one to turn to.

    Daniel Lawrence: He's also Quality Control, though he's been known to update occasionally. He supports Godzilla for President.

    Benny Hsieh (Braxus): Site design, contest coordinator, and deviser of April Fools pranks.

    Kalrac: Kalrac was the primary forum administrator, wrote most of the FAQ you see here today, created and maintained the MOMALs, answered questions, and other things. He doesn't do any of that anymore, but he does still maintain The Gallery. It is rumoured that he has embarked on a thousands-of-hours quest to the former offices of Square USA, picking up some money on the way, I suspect.

    Ross Bemrose (Powerlord): He was the one responsible for most of the CGI scripts we have here. In other words, he's the one responsible for setting up and maintaining the message boards, the directory listings, the upload script, the new-files directory, etc. Without his work, this would be a much duller place. Forteblast and Secret Agent Man have taken over much of this job, though many of his scripts are still in use. He left the site in mid-2005 after nearly eight years.

    Necrosaro: He joined the site relatively early on in its evolution, and brought with him some financial support for the domain name and hosting. He also ran a Video Game Music Quiz before joining the VGMA. He's retired now.

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    : When did the counter pass 500000 hits? Who was the 500000th hit? What about 1 million? Million and a half? Two Million? Ten Million?

    The 500000th hit occurred at 10:52 PM, 8 Feb 1999. The 500000th hit was Kalrac. It was said that Kalrac was only looking to see how close it was to the number, and getting it was merely a coincidence.

    One Million was hit at around 7:15 PM, 9 Sep 1999. This time around, it wasn't Kalrac, it was, uh, Peach, our former updater. This wasn't done on purpose, we really wanted someone else to get it. If we really wanted to get the milestones ourselves, we have sneaky, dirty, behind-the-scenes tricks for doing that, I mean, we can just change the counter number...

    1.5 Million happened on 8 Feb 2000. I don't have a time, nor do I know who got it. It's not that special of a milestone anyway, so no one on the staff felt compelled to rig it in their favour - er - I mean no one on the staff accidentally got it.

    Two Million was at around 11:35 AM, 27 Jun 2000. This one's just slightly more special than 1.5, and the honour goes to Kevin Phoenix for being the lucky guy to click reload at the right time. After five million, uh, it seems that no-one was paying attention for a while...

    Ten Million came up at 6:14 AM, 11 Sep 2003, and congratulations to Zero Beats, who got it. Incidentally, staff member Daniel Lawrence got the 10000001st hit.

    The site was transferred to a new server somewhere around 17 million hits, when the counter was lost and not replaced. What the count would be now is anyone's guess.

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    : Statement on Quake (And other games with an Ambient Noise Soundtrack) and WipeOut (And other games with Industrial/Techno Soundtrack), with a touch of Zelda 64 and a sprinkling of voice.

    Requests for these games have come up quite often on the Wishlist board, so it was decided that something should be said about them here. We don't have them, and we won't have them. This goes for all games with Ambient Noise or Industrial/Techno soundtracks. The reasons are as follows:

    Quake (And Ambient Noise): There's no music! (With the exception of the title track, that is.) Quake's soundtrack was a masterpiece of spooky atmosphere, but that's all it was. This is the Videogame Music Archive, not the Videogame Creepy Background Sound Stored In Redbook Format On The Game CD Archive. On top of that, even if someone wanted to, they could not make a MIDI out of it, the GM spec only has 128 instruments, none of which are "Chain Dragging" or "Sonar Ping", which brings me to the next topic.

    WipeOut (And Techno/Industrial): The game has music, but this music cannot be recreated in MIDI. MIDI is a wonderful standard, unfortunately it is limited. This type of music simply can't be done in MIDI. The instruments and effects needed aren't there. This type of music can be done in modules, however, provided that the tracker is talented enough.

    Zelda 64: Requests for the temples are made quite often. Unfortunately, a number of them fit under the ambient noise category. Zelda was a nice game, and all, but as far as the underworld music goes, it wasn't fantastic. Sure, it's moody and atmospheric, but it doesn't translate to MIDI well. Some can't be done at all, while others will seriously suffer under General MIDI. However, responding to a request for Z64 music with the phrase "That's Ambient Noise, so it can't be done" without actually considering whether that specific song can or can't be done is dumb. There's still quite a few Zelda 64 tunes that aren't ambient noise and can be done qite well in MIDI.

    Voices: Voices can't be done in General MIDI. You're never going to find a MIDI of FF7's "One Winged Angel" with the singing, so don't bother looking. The reason is the same as above, there's just no voice instrument available.

    Now, of course, I am certain that someone out there will see me saying that it can't be done and set out to prove me wrong. Well, that's what I'm hoping for, so good luck to you. Also, I am not considering soundfonts and the like as a solution to these concerns. Sure, they'll work, but they're non-standard extensions that solve a specific and limited problem that basically turn a MIDI into a broken-up module and it's my opinion that if you want a module, you should look for a module, not a MIDI and sound bank combo that fakes it.

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    : How come you don't have a section for (Insert System Name Here)?

    We don't have any files for it. If we don't have any files, we can't make a section for it. (Well, that's not entirely true... We can make a section for it, but it would be pointless because it would be empty.) If you want us to add a section for it, get people to make and submit files for it, and we will get around to making one.

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    : I have MIDI files for a game system that your upload script doesn't accept. Can you add it so I can upload the files?

    Sure thing. Just let us know what system it is, and we'll take care of it. (Make sure we don't already have it, and make sure it's not here by a different name, please. We don't want to be told to add what we already have.)

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    : Can you make a zip file of all the songs on the archive so that I can download them all at once?

    No.

    Well, to tell the truth, yes, we can, but we're not going to make one.

    Okay, yes, truthfully, we have made them in the past, and will continue to do so in the future, but they are only for the purposes of backing up the site in case of a disastrous crash or what-not, and they are only for staff use. We will not make them available to the general public.

    We're not just going to make a file available that would allow people to have an instant copy of our site. We've worked rather hard to get this site where it is, and if anyone else wants to challenge us, they're going to have to work just as hard.

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    : What was the highest the new-files has ever gotten? What was the largest update?

    The new-files has gotten pretty high... And the status changes daily. Therefore, I've decided to make this question update itself. So, the highest=((current>prevhighest)?(current):(prevhighest)); There. Now you know. The largest update was 590 files, as far as we know. We haven't been keeping the best track of it lately, though I'm fairly sure that most updates are less than that.

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    : How much money are you guys making with your site?

    None. Absolutely zilcho. Even less than the Turkish Lira is worth.
    I'm currently walking around a warehouse wearing smelly gloves trying to save a little so I don't end up with quite so much debt from the degree course I'm planning to do. I'm certainly not in the position now to mindlessly throw money around (not if I've any sense left, anyway), and I never have been. The other staff, while they don't have that same story, might have a similar one, but I'm not sure, you should probably ask them. But anyway...
    This site is a hobby for the lot of us. We do it for fun. You're not going to hear about us going public or anything like that. We're non-commercial and we're going to stay that way.

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    : But what about the banner ads and the store? Where does the money from them go?

    The banner ads go directly through us to the host (Along with a check from us to cover the difference). They're exactly the same as the sort of thing you see on any other free hosting site, except nowhere near as annoying. That bright salmon one is actually a book written by the site founder's brother, so go buy it, BUY IT NOW!
    About the store: The money from here goes toward domain name registration, hosting costs, and what was left over was given away in a contest. No staff member has ever bought so much as a pack of bubble gum with money from this site.

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    : Why don't you have Doom/Wolf3D/Duke3D/Commander Keen music?

    Bobby Prince, the composer of the music for these games, requested that we remove them from our site. We complied with his wish and took all the music done by him down. As a result, we do not have any music from these games, we will remove any music from these games that is uploaded to us, and we will not have any music from these games until either he or a future copyright holder for these songs changes their mind, or the copyright on them runs out (Which, under current law, would be 50 years from the author's death, which means that we'd be able to have them, depending on how long Mr. Prince lives, no earlier than whatever 50 years from now is.). In other words, don't wait for them to come back.

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    : So, is there anyone else whose music you can't have (Or just don't have for whatever reason)?

    We've also been contacted by persons representing Chris Huelsbeck, who did the music to Giana Sisters and the Turrican Series, asking that his music be removed. We've also removed all music by Eric Heberling, who has done the music for numerous PC games, including Mission Critical. As for music we don't have for whatever reason: LucasArts and Sierra games. It's not that we can't, it's that we don't, as there are several wonderful sites devoted solely to the music from these games, and it's much better for the listener to get the music first hand from those sites than second hand through us.

    This Page has the most up-to-date list of what we can't have.

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    : Why are you guys so lazy?

    I'll answer this one when I get around to it.

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    : I'd like to work for you, how can I apply?

    You don't. At least not out of the blue. If we're looking for anyone to fill a specific position, we'll make plenty of announcements (Unless it's going to be a back-door nepotistic hiring, in which case you would be ineligible anyway) about it and give you clear instructions on how to apply.

    A few words:

  • If you don't know what "FTP" is, don't even bother. Pretty much any position we can possibly have here will require working with FTP, and if you don't know what it is, you're going to be passed over, plain and simple.
  • If you use WebTV or other non-computer based access to the Internet, you will also be passed over. We often require file storage or use of programs not available to console web boxes.
  • All positions are unpaid and unappreciated. If you are hired, you must be prepared to work long hard hours, often alone, in the dark, and in temperatures in excess of 40 C. You will have to refer to all persons hired before you as "Sir", "Madam", "Yes, Your Highness", "Grand Protector of the Flame", or "Perpetual Overlord of my Being" (In some cases, a combination of these), and perform menial and humiliating tasks for nickels at staff picnics until you have been with us at least one year. You will also be required to care for the Grolbigand for at least two weeks out of the year, more if we don't like you (BTW, he's not house-trained, so you'll have to provide your own hazmat suits and bulldozer, and we're also not responsible if he eats any of your relatives or friends).
  • You must be a self-starter and be able to do things pretty much on your own. You must do what you're supposed to do at least semi-regularly. We don't like having to remind and badger people who leave their FAQ page unchanged for months at a time that they'd better do something or be replaced by some monkey with a talent for banging out somewhat English words on a keyboard. Even though this is not a real job, we will fire you if you do not do what you're here to do. At least, we claim that we will.
  • It helps if we know who you are. You might be the most perfectly qualified person for the job, but if we've never seen your name anywhere, we might ignore your application. So make yourself known. Hang out in the chat room, on the forums, contribute files, etc. You don't have to be on our staff to do anything for the site.
  • Since this is a video game MIDI site, the more knowledge of video games, MIDI, and music in general you have, the better.
  • Send large, um, "Donations" (CASH ONLY, no checks) to us in unmarked envelopes. We particularly enjoy collecting portraits of Ben Franklin.

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    : What are the "Classic" pages?

    The Classic pages are not for "Classic" files or "Classic" songs. They're simply the old style of index page, what we had before the table pages (Minus the little character graphics). They contain exactly the same songs as the main pages do, and since they don't have all the table clutter, they should load considerably faster than the main pages.

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    : What is the point of those colons which link to the question they're next to?

    They're quick links, so if anyone ever needs to make a link to a FAQ question or glossary term, they can simply copy and paste the address from the link. It saves a great deal of time. They link directly to the text anchors of a question, while the index links to numeric anchors. The numeric anchors are likely to change if a question is added above, but the text anchors will remain constant. So, if linking, use the address provided by the quick link, otherwise the link you make is likely to end up linking to a different question after an update. The numeric anchors remain to assist in coordinating the order of the question in the index and body, as well as to provide an easy way to count the number of FAQ questions.

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    : Why do you bother having the FAQ and the Glossary and all that? Isn't it easier to just answer a question when it is asked?

    You obviously have never been asked the same question repeatedly... The FAQ and its counterparts are here to save time for two people. The person asking a question will take two minutes asking a question on the forums, then wait a day, and may or may not get an answer. If someone does answer, it will take them five minutes to do so. If the person had gone to the FAQ in the first place, they would have spent two minutes looking for and reading the answer, then they wouldn't have had to wait a day, and wouldn't have caused someone else to waste five minutes of their time. Plus, they would have gotten a more complete answer than the responder on the forums would have given. Of course, if the question isn't there, then they'll have to go through the rest, but they may have found some other form of enlightenment while they were here.

    Some have said that it is plainly rude to post a link in response to a question. Those people do not understand that it is far more rude to ignore the over 200K of information already provided for them in the FAQ family.

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    : What's with those banner ads? I find some of them offensive or annoying.

    You find text ads for game soundtracks offensive? It's not like it's the naked women UGO used to shove on us.

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    : Sometimes I get a navbar in the middle of an archive page. Can you guys fix it?

    We can't fix what isn't our problem. Our HTML code is sound, there's nothing on our end that is creating an errant navbar in the middle of any of the pages. The problem is your browser. We can only offer the following workarounds:

  • Ignore it. It's just a ghostly floating navbar. It won't eat you. At least, it shouldn't eat you. If it does, we're not responsible for its behaviour.
  • Change your browser. Upgrade to the latest version, downgrade to an older version, change browsers altogether. We have reports that Lynx does not encounter the problem with the navbar. (Lynx will also drastically cut the load times for sites with large images and will eliminate all plugin problems you may have faced...)

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    : Where is the PC Section?

    We never have and we never will have a section of this site devoted to political correctness. This is a music site, for video games, and-

    Oh, you mean the Personal Computer music section? That's called "DOS & Windows" now.

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    : How long does it take for uploaded files to be added to the archive?

    Martha, the chattering raccoon decides when a file should be added to the archive. Additions are completely determined by her will. She's a bit flighty and unpredictable, so there's no telling when she'll give the green light for a file to be added. So, if your file has been in there a long time, be patient and let it wait for another long time or two. Chances are, there's quite a few files that have been around quite a bit longer than yours, so unless your file has been sitting there for two years, you don't have much to complain about. (And if you do complain, Martha will get angry.)

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    : How do you decide which files get added to the archive in an update and which get left behind?

    There have been a number of rumours floating around regarding how we pick files to update. Some of them have been reasonable (Either by date, game, or random selection), while others have been the product of a seriously disturbed mind (Involving a raccoon or a dartboard). The truth is very organized and simple, even though it tends to produce random looking results at times. Each of the updaters has a part of the alphabet assigned to them. For example, one may be A-F, another G-M, etc. When these people update, they will only update files with names that begin within their letters. The updater responsible for A-F could be a speed demon, updating files every weekend, while G-M could be slow and only do an update every six months. So, that means that files that start with A-F will get added quickly, while anything unlucky enough to begin with G-M may take a while. This also explains why some files from the same sequencer, uploaded the same day, might end up being a part of several different updates. One file may be named "battle.mid" and another could be "garden.mid" (Although, if you name your files either of those, we will have to clobber you... Generic names such as those are bad.), so A-F will get to "battle.mid" first, while G-M will add "garden.mid" sometime later. It is highly recommended that you start all of your files from the same game with the same letter. In other words, name the files "FAQ-battle.mid" and "FAQ-garden.mid". That way, the next time the Fs are dealt with, all of your files will get taken care of at the same time.

    Please note: The letters used above were for illustration purposes only. Don't upload all your files starting with the letters A-F, hoping that they'll get done faster. There is absolutely nothing wrong with G-M, and I was not making a comment on the speeds of the updaters. A file beginning with any letter can easily sit in the new-files as long as a different file starting with a completely different letter. Furthermore, just because an updater is responsible for a certain block of letters doesn't mean they'll do all the letters in every update. A-F might do an update on A, B, and C, then wait three months to do D, E, and F.

    As for how they actually decide what makes it into the archive, that's a different matter entirely. If it's ripped or stolen, it won't make it. If it sounds absolutely awful, even if it's legitimately sequenced, it'll probably get the boot. If it sounds great, but isn't the song it claims to be, we'll toss it. After we've filtered out the obviously troublesome files, we'll pass the surviors along to Martha the chattering raccoon. She has final say about what goes in. If your song is approved by Martha, then we'll add it to the archive.

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    : Do you have a blog?

    Possibly.

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    : Can I record a song in Sound Recorder, call it a MIDI and upload it to your site?

    No.

    No.

    No no no no no.

    In other words, no. You may not. If you record a song in Sound Recorder (Or any other wave recorder), you've made a wave file, not a MIDI file. You can't make it a MIDI just by changing the name. It does not work, and it will not work. Windows may say that you've produced a MIDI file by doing that, but that's because Windows is stupid.
    In addition, no.
    Thankfully, if you did actually try this, our upload script will stop you. It knows what a MIDI is and won't let anything else through.

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    : Are there any additions you'd like to make the upload rules, but can't since they're not quite appropriate?

    Oh, yes, you bet I do.
  • Sequencers must listen to their work with at least one, preferably two, working ears prior to uploading.
  • Sequencers must listen to the original song of which they are sequencing sometime prior to the uploading of the file.
  • Sequencers must make an attempt to make their sequence sound like the song they claim it to be.
  • Sequencers must avoid calling a collection of random notes in a file "game music", as it is neither from a game, nor is it music.
  • Sequencers must not upload collection of random notes in a file.
  • Do not upload a song with the phrase, "I know this file sucks, but..." in the information. It does not matter what follows, it still sucks. We don't want your garbage. If it sucks, don't upload it -- FIX IT! Run it through the C&C Board for advice. Ask for opinions. Work on it, perfect it, be happy with it. Upload it when it is good.
  • Do not upload a song with the phrase, "This sounds perfect" in the information. We have yet to hear any file which claims to "Sound perfect" that even "Sounds any good".
  • Sequencers must not name their files "battle.mid", "boss.mid", "overworld.mid", or "ff7.mid".

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    : Why don't you get the music for this movie or TV show or anime?

    Take a few steps back and look at the title of the page you're on. "Pamela's Pr-"... Uh, no, not that far back. There. Right there. Read that. "Videogame Music Archive". What's that first word? Yeah, there's your answer. We're a video game music site. We don't do movies, and we don't do TV shows, even if they are related to video games.

    And furthermore, no, there is not a connection between video games and anime. There may be anime video games, but anime is not video games, so we're not going to have anime music here. Yes, they're both from Japan. But sushi and sake and Toyotas and kamikaze are all from Japan too, and you don't see us with a recipe section or instructions on how to fly your Camry into a boat, now do you?

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    : How do I get into the video game (music) industry?

    I give up. How do you?

    Oh, you mean that wasn't a set-up for a joke?

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    : I have a great idea! You guys should get a chat room.

    Yeah, that's an amazing idea. In fact, it's a wonder that we didn't already think of that several years ago. Oh wait, that's right, we did. So here's my great idea: Look around the site before suggesting things that we need to have.

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    : Why does the whiteboard have a password?

    Because there are a number of aspiring medical textbook artists in the world who specialize in detailed anatomical diagrams. We are not, however, a website for detailed anatomical diagrams. So, we have placed a password on the whiteboard to keep those people away. The password is musical, just like the one in Willy Wonka.

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    FAQ maintained by: dw_junon, so comments, questions, etc. regarding it should be sent here or posted on the appropriate message board.